Taking Back America By Taking Back Our Schools
Attached is the response I received after requesting to add the removal of IB as a discussion item on the March 9th agenda for the Mesa Schoolboard. This is exactly the info that was in the notification I received when I found out my child was enrolled in IB classes. I replied that the answer was not acceptable and resent a request redefining the topic: "COST, ENROLLMENT, EFFECTIVENESS AND REQUESTED ELIMINATION OF IB IN MESA" per advise given by Lisa of TAIB . I got a feeling they may still ignore me though. If you can help please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the same request.
> From: Michael Cowan [mailto:email@example.com]
> Sent: Monday, March 01, 2010 5:14 PM
> Cc: Alice Swinehart
> Subject: International Bacclaurette Program
> Ms. Fantechi,
> My name is Michael Cowan, Superintendent for Mesa Public
> Schools. I have been asked by Governing Board President David
> Lane to respond to your your request.
> Thank you for your submittal of a Governing Board Meeting agenda
> item regarding the International Baccalaureate Program. After
> careful consideration of your request, it has been decided that
> rather than address your topic of interest in an upcoming
> meeting, it is more appropriate to share some information with
> you. I am pleased to share details with you about the district's
> International Baccalaureate elementary middle years, and diploma
> programs currently offered at 3 campuses for Mesa students.
> As you may know, the International Baccalaureate Program,
> commonly referred to as IB, is a nationally and internationally
> recognized and applauded rigorous academic program of study that
> invites students to engage in concentrated studies. It is one of
> several educational offerings provided through the Mesa Public
> Schools to parents and their students. In addition to the
> comprehensive traditional educational services offered at our
> high schools, IB joins other quality learning options such as
> the Franklin Back-to-Basics, the Dual Language, AVID, and
> Project Lead the Way Pre-Engineering programs. We believe
> parents should be afforded choices when considering the
> education for their children. For that reason, we offer several
> top-notch, educationally sound options for them to consider.
> Recently, the International Baccalaureate program has been
> announced as one of five recommended programs in current Arizona
> legislature that will significantly impact and influence high
> school programming in the future. This program, along with the
> ACT, Advanced Placement, Edexcel and Cambridge programs are
> identified as key programs designed to help students engage in
> academically challenging content, thus better preparing them for
> the rigors of post-secondary education experiences once they
> graduate from high school.
> There are currently no plans to change or decrease our offering
> of the IB program for Mesa students. Many, many parents have
> expressed their interest in, and support for, the program.
> Enrollments continue to climb as parents consider the benefits
> and value of a program that promises academic rigor and is
> substantially supported by universities and colleges across the
> country (and around the world). Many of our students, once they
> leave the program, find themselves with scholarships or waived
> college credits at some of the finest American universities as a
> result of their IB studies.
> Thank you, again, for your interest in the educational offerings
> in Mesa Public Schools.
> M. Cowan
> Mesa Public Schools
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"Let's just call TJ in, sit her down, pat her on the head, explain that she's THE ONLY one who has EVER complained about IB and here are all of the "authorities" that support it."
How insulting. She tried playing by their rules. In these dire economic times, taxpayers in public school districts across America absolutely have the right to challenge wasteful spending on what amounts to elective indoctrination.
I hope fellow Mesa parents will rally with TJ to bring this issue to the forefront before the next Board election and budget vote comes before voters.
Bring all of the evidence to bear that you can and try to find other parents to speak out about it. I am planning to bring this up at the East Valley Tea Party Meeting on the 16th. Hopefully that will raise more opposition.
I just sent out an update - print out the two articles out of Santa Ynez, make copies for all of the Board members, Supt. & Asst. Supt and present them to the District Clerk at the beginning of the meeting. Inform them that your kids and the Mesa taxpayers DON'T HAVE TWELVE YEARS TO WASTE on this nonsense and that you want this addressed NOW!
(Sorry for shouting, but this issue really makes me mad!)
LVCSD Board of Education
Horse Hollow Road
Locust Valley, NY 11560
March 10th, 2010
Dear Dr. Hunderfund, Dr. Marino, and Trustees of the Board of Education,
We respectfully ask that you take the time to review the following two newspaper articles out of Santa Ynez, California:
IB Fiasco May Hurt District Long Term
School District Made Right Call on IB Program
We believe this district serves as a “textbook example” of what happens to American public schools which mistakenly bought into the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program’s false promises and exorbitant price tag.
LVCSD is now entering its seventh (7th) year of “investment” in IB. This district has decimated our once fine AP courses which were experiencing a 400% increase in enrollment at the time IB was “adopted”. LVCSD used to regularly have 35-36 AP Scholars every year. In 2009, LVHS had zero (0) AP Scholars.
IB has not “improved” LVHS. When the first IB Information Night was held on October 19, 2004, Mr. Robin Collitri told the 100+ parents in attendance that “ALL of the TOP school districts on Long Island are CLAMORING for IB.” Five and a half years later, and not a single district in Nassau County has adopted IB. Garden City and Glen Cove both rejected IB. It’s just LVCSD and Rockville Centre. Please don’t insult our intelligence by pointing to Jay Mathews’ vapid and biased Newsweek Best High Schools List as grounds for improvement. We all know Mathews only counts warm bodies and not pass rates on AP/IB exams.
We have just learned about LVCSD’s apparently “new” policy to pay for IB exam fees. Does LVCSD also pay AP exam fees? Does it even offer more than 2 or 3 AP courses anymore? Why is there no Advanced Placement section on the website or mention of the APID option? Why is there no AP Coordinator? Where is the equity?
Faced with a potential $5,000,000 budget shortfall, it makes absolutely no sense to continue to waste $200,000 a year on IB when you can deliver the superior, more recognized, more credit-worthy, non-controversial college-level AP courses without that expense.
The last two SoundWaves distributed made absolutely no mention of IB. It’s as though the district is embarrassed to let residents and parents know it is an IB World School. We have heard from 10th Grade parents who were quite annoyed that they received the notice to your recent Parent Presentation meeting the day after.
When IB was introduced in 2004, Dr. Shear boasted of 40 full Diploma students. The four IB graduating classes have produced the following results with the original 40 dwindling to: 2006 - 28 candidates, 24 diplomas, 2007 - 20 candidates, 14 diplomas, 2008 - 31 candidates, 20 diplomas (64.5% pass rate), 2009 - 28 candidates, 19 diplomas (68% pass rate). These are not numbers to be proud of when the “global” pass rate is 80%. Furthermore, my heart goes out to one out of three IB Diploma students who fail to earn the diploma. The “mean” score for the IB Diplomas earned in 2008 and 2009 was 29, below the 30+ required by the universities which recognize an IBDP for sophomore status. We may be old fashioned, but we always considered less than 65% to be a FAILING grade. It’s time to eliminate this failed “pilot program” and get LVHS back on track for success and excellence.
IBO requires a five year review. We have seen nothing to indicate that LVCSD has conducted this review or has one scheduled. There is NO CONTRACT tying LVCSD to IBO beyond the end of the 2010 school-year. In the interest of student achievement, American values and fiscal responsibility, we urge you to make this critical decision to eliminate IB for the sake of our students and LVCSD taxpayers. Take heed of what happened in Santa Ynez when a “private coalition” of parents tried to “fundraise” for IB. For twelve years, the Santa Ynez district endured controversy over IB. Please learn from history, don’t repeat it. Five years is one child’s entire HS career.
Lisa E. McLoughlin
Penny Syrett, parent of 3
Make sure your fellow Tea Party patriots are aware of this recent case in your state: